June 1, 2017

A Beautiful Day with J-pod

Notch Having a GREAT TIME!

Lauren Fritz, 6/1/17, M/V Sea Lion, 12 pm and 5:30 pm

I was happy as a clam this morning when I woke to reports that our J-pod friends were still hanging around the islands! Every day starts out a mystery, as it should. These wild animals can swim 100 miles in a day, so just because we saw them yesterday doesn't necessarily mean we will see them the next day. In fact, that's no indicator at all! We are at the mercy of these creatures and their travel patterns.

M/V Sea Lion had two tours today. The first took us up towards Saturna Island, where we met up with J-pod as they were crossing Boundary Pass. They headed straight to Turn Point and continued south. And it looked like they were having so much fun! At certain points throughout the trip, these animals were almost flying through the water, like their only purpose in life was to get across Boundary Pass as quickly as they possibly could. But then, with an abrupt change of behavior, they would slow down and start to play, breaching and tail slapping and throwing around as much water as they could. It was so much fun to watch!

Our second trip took us south into the Strait of Juan de Fuca, where J-pod had once again picked up speed as they alternated between foraging and socializing. It was so interesting to watch J17, Princess Angeline, help her offspring as they foraged for salmon. I'm sure they have a variety of techniques for feeding, but today we watched as they pushed through the water on their sides, almost like they were herding salmon towards each other. They are so cooperative! I was definitley not like that with my siblings when I was younger...

Overall, it was such a great day. I love being on the water with J-pod...they always keep you guessing, and they always love to play!

Lauren Fritz

Naturalist

San Juan Safaris